Content and Trigger Warning Guide: The Dark Knight

Note: This guide may contain spoilers.

Synopsis: When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice. (Source: IMDb)

MPAA Rating: PG13

Estimated Self-Censored Rating Using Full Guide: PG

Content Warnings

  • Blood (3)
    • 01:37:14-01:37:19 A bloody bandage is shown on Harvey Dent’s (Aaron Eckhart) face.
    • 01:41:43-01:41:50 Dent shows his burnt and bloody face as Two Face, it features open wounds and exposed bone. Specifically his jaw and teeth.
    • 01:47:36-01:52:54 Dent’s disfigured face is shown repeatedly while Joker (Heath Ledger) says that what happened wasn’t personal and tells Dent to shoot him. Joker says he is an agent of chaos. Joker gets Two Face to flip his coin to determine if Joker lives or dies. Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) gets in a car crash to protect the whistleblower. Joker blows up the hospital.
  • Graphic Violence (11)
    • 00:02:24-00:06:12 The patrons in a bank are held hostage while the bank is robbed. The hostages are forced to hold grenades during the ordeal. The bank manager (William Fichtner) shoots a clown robber with a shotgun. The bank manager is then shot by another clown. The robber at the vault is shot by another clown. A school bus reverses into a clown. Bus driver is shot by the last clown. Joker puts a grenade in the bank manager’s mouth, but it turns out to be a gas bomb.
    • 00:08:35-00:10:20 Fake Batmen and gangs have a shootout. A fake Batman is mauled by a dog. The real Batman arrives and fights the criminals and fake Batmen.
    • 00:23:36-00:23:38 Joker slams a thug’s head onto a pencil and it goes into the brain and kills him.
    • 00:30:08-00:31:19 Joker confronts a gang leader (Michael Jai White) with a knife. He tells a story of domestic abuse and says his father took a knife from his mother, put the blade in Joker’s mouth, and cut. He then slits the gang leader’s throat.
    • 00:36:03-00:37:15 Batman raids a building in Hong Kong. He is shot at and takes down all the gunmen.
    • 00:49:13-00:53:21 Joker holds the party hostage at gunpoint. He threatens Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) with the knife while telling another story of how he got his scars. This time he says his wife was disfigured by loan sharks and he cut himself to match her. Batman arrives and fights Joker and his goons. Joker drops Rachel out of the high rise window and Batman saves her.
    • 01:04:30-01:07:45 Batman beats up goons at a nightclub. He then takes Maroni (Eric Roberts) to a balcony and drops him. Maroni breaks his legs, which Batman did to get information. Dent tortures Joker’s Thug (David Dastmalchian) with a gun and flips his coin to decide the fate. Batman and Dent find out no one has any actual information on Joker.
    • 01:14:50-01:22:55 Joker shots a street cop with a shotgun. The police motorcade is attacked by Joker, including vehicles being forced into water and shot at implying the killing of the officers. Batman arrives and causes the deaths of Joker’s drivers. Joker’s goons bring down a helicopter and kill the police inside. Joker shoots and kills random civilians. Joker ends up arrested.
    • 01:36:01-01:36:17 Rachel is killed in an explosion. The other explosion happens and half of Dent’s body is lit on fire and burned. 
    • 01:47:15 Joker shoots an officer point blank at the hospital.
    • 02:06:58-02:13:20 Batman has to fight Joker’s goons while saving hostages and stopping the SWAT teams. He fights the police officers to protect the hostages. At the same time two ferry boats, one with prisoners and one with regular people, are loaded with explosives. The people on board have to decide if they will blow up the other boat. The police and Joker’s goons fight. Both boats decide not to blow up the other. Joker activates a backup generator. Batman then throws Joker off the building and catches him with a cable. Joker is left hanging by his feet from the skyscraper. 

Trigger Warnings

  • Animal Abuse (2)
    • 00:09:42 Batman throws a dog that bit him over a railing in a parking garage.
    • 02:09:27-02:09:46 Batman has to fight off Joker’s dogs. He punches them and throws them down an elevator shaft.
  • Torture (3)
    • 00:42:38-00:43:37 Video shown of Joker torturing fake Batman.
    • 01:27:17-01:30:25 Batman physically assaults Joker as he tries to find out where Dent and Rachel are being kept. This includes punching, choking, and slamming Joker’s head into walls, a table, and windows.
    • 02:15:16-02:20:20 Dent and his burnt face are shown while holding Gordon (Gary Oldman) and his family hostage. He tortures them by putting a gun to the heads of Gordon’s wife and children. Batman arrives and is shot at by Dent. Dent then turns the gun on himself but the coin flip saves his life. Dent is then about to shoot Gordon’s son when Batman tackles him off of the building to his death. However Batman saves Gordon’s son before falling himself and getting injured.
  • Disturbing Imagery (7)
    • 00:41:45-00:42:08 A fake Batman is hung from a building in a similar style to a lynching.
    • 00:48:48 The judge’s car is blown up with her inside because Joker is targeting her, the police commissioner and Harvey Dent.
    • 01:02:16 Joker and accomplices dressed as cops attempt to assassinate the mayor (Nestor Carbonell).
    • 01:34:54 Joker makes a phone call and his goon explodes from a bomb planted in his stomach.
    • 01:55:16-01:55:50 Dent’s disfigurement is shown as he confronts the traitor in Gordon’s unit. He then shoots the man dead. 
    • 01:58:11-01:59:19 Dent’s face is shown while in a car confronting Maroni. He proceeds to shoot the driver and the car crashes.
    • 02:03:13-02:05:45 Dent’s face is continually shown while forcing Officer Ramirez to help him kidnap Gordon’s family. He then punches her in the face. Dent then calls Gordon to tell him he has kidnapped his whole family.

This guide was completed by Robby Moore, a film lover/critic in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

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